Closed consultation

Farne Deeps vessel eligibility

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Summary

Consultation into allowing vessels that are highly dependent on nephrops in the Farne Deeps using twin-rig or multi-rig gear to be awarded eligibility to receive allocation for TR1 days at sea.

This consultation ran from
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Consultation description

Proposal

To allow vessels that target nephrops using twin or multi rig gear to use a mesh size of greater than 100 mm (TR1), where they do not currently hold TR1 eligibility either as a dual TR1 and TR2 allocation or as a single TR1 allocation.

Background

Vessels currently fishing under the Days at Sea Scheme as introduced through the Cod Plan European Council Regulation (EU) 1342/2008 targeting nephrops in the Farne Deeps are restricted in ICES rectangles 38E8, 38E9, 39E8, 39E9, 40E8 and 40E9 by new licence conditions aimed at reducing the overall fishing pressure on the Farne Deeps nephrops stock.

The measures are as follows:

  • Vessel owners will be required to use a minimum mesh size of 90mm using single twine of 5mm.
  • Only single-rig vessels of 350kW (476hp) or less will be permitted to fish within 12mn of the coast.
  • Multi-rig vessels (vessels with three or more rigs) will be prohibited from operating within the Farne Deeps. Twin rig vessels will be permitted to operate outside 12nm.
  • No vessel will be permitted to use gear with multiple cod ends per rig.

Due to the restrictions outlined above, vessels highly dependent on Farne Deeps nephrops (> 50 % of annual landed value in either of 2013 - 2015) currently eligible to use only TR2 gears will have limited fishing opportunities in the area due to being unable to access the nephrops fishery. In order to provide more opportunity for diversification away from Farne Deeps nephrops, we propose to:

  1. Allow twin/multi-rig vessels that will be prohibited from operating within the Farne Deeps eligibility to fish with TR1 gears, where they currently lack eligibility. If we allow those currently unable to fish with TR1 gear to do so, we would propose starting this measure on 1st September 2016 there will be 153 calendar days until the end of the CRZ Scheme on 31 January 2017.

  2. Alternatively allow vessels to apply for TR1 days only and do not use further TR2 days.

Allocations would be as follows:

Allocation Days
TR1 Basic Allocation 41 Days
TR1 and TR2 Basic Allocation 72 Days of which 14 can be fished using TR1 gear
TR1 5% Cod Allocation 83 Days
TR1 and TR2 5% Cod Allocation 83 Days

Vessels wishing to make use of these options will be required to re-notify for days at sea and cannot utilise these days until receipt of an authorisation letter. Based on our records 22 vessels have been identified as highly dependent on the Farne Deeps nephrops fishery. Of these, 6 vessels currently do not have TR1 eligibility, 3 vessels do not appear to be active under the CRZ scheme and the rest have joint TR1 and TR2 eligibility.

The decision on whether this proposal is agreed will be taken after a consultation with industry, analysis of potential risks and benefits, and evaluation of its impacts.

We are seeking the views of industry stakeholders with an interest in the Farne Deeps. Please respond to the questions below:

  1. Should this change of scheme rules be permitted? Please give reasons.
  2. Is the criteria for vessels highly dependent on Farne Deeps nephrops (i.e. those vessels which can demonstrate landings of Farne Deeps Nephrops amounting to greater than 50% of annual landed value in any one of the quota years 2013-2015) set at a high enough threshold?
  3. Do you have any other comments that you think we need to consider when making this decision?

The MMO are keen to consult with you on this subject and would welcome any comments by midnight on the 26th August 2016. The MMO has considered that the relatively short period for consultation allowed is appropriate, given the relatively low impact of these proposals, coupled with the need to make any relevant changes that are appropriate after consultation as soon as possible in order to provide enhanced fishing effort opportunities as soon as possible. Please send all responses to the following address effort@marinemanagement.org.uk.

Published 17 August 2016